What is your political background? I have always had an interest in civic and other matters affecting our country. Prior to the establishment of COPE, I, along with many South Africans, grew concerned at the rise of corrupt and unethical conduct by public officials and public office bearers and the manifestation of poor governance in many organs of our State. Following the recall of President Mbeki, I attended the National Democratic Convention at which a decision was taken to lay the foundations for the establishment of the Congress of the People. I assisted in mobilising for the establishment of the party in KwaZulu-Natal and was elected to the position of National Deputy General Secretary at its inaugural conference in Bloemfontein in 2009. Since then, I have served at times as the Acting National General Secretary and Acting National Treasurer and currently hold the position of National Deputy General Secretary. I was elected to Parliament in 2009 and again in 2014.
What your job as an MP entail? First and foremost as a Member of Parliament, I consider myself to be a servant of the people. Our primary duty must be to represent the people ethically (putting the bests interests of the people and country above any other interest) and to ensure government by the people for the people.
We are also responsible for providing for the public consideration of national issues, and the consideration and passing of legislation. Importantly we are responsible for scrutinising and overseeing the actions of the Executive and holding them to account - without fear or favour. As a small party with limited members and resources in Parliament, it's a difficult task to cover all matters of Parliament.
What has been your impression of the Fifth Parliament? I, along with many in the opposition benches and society at large, am extremely concerned regarding the performance of both the fourth and fifth terms of Parliament. Its legitimacy and as a consequence, the legitimacy of our political system and our democracy is at stake. This is manifested in worsening economic and social conditions, failing service delivery, and rising civic protestations. This points to poor policy choices. We need an honest national conversation and brave decision-making. More concerning is the lack of honest account-giving and acceptance of responsibility by the Executive to Parliament and the inability of Parliament (through the unethical actions of the ANC majority) to hold the Executive to account, and to apportion responsibility and consequences for maladministration and the gross abuse of power.
As a consequence power is brazenly being abused with impunity, corruption runs rampant, and bad governance is the order of the day. The end result is that the credibility of Parliament has been seriously impinged such that its legitimacy is seriously in question. As a consequence the legitimacy of our political system and our very democracy is at stake.
Given the above I and my party are of the view that Parliament should be dissolved and fresh elections held.
Where is your constituency? Being a national office bearer of COPE generally means that when I’m not involved in direct parliamentary matters, I am inevitably involved in nation matters. I am not limited to a set constituency, but instead have South Africa as my constituency.
What are you passionate about - both political and otherwise? As an ordinary citizen and a mother, I am concerned about the high levels of crime and corruption, the rule of law, values and principle, education and the healthcare system. There is a need to influence government and all other stakeholders to ensure that our nation is treated with the dignity and respect everyone deserves. I live my life by the quote of Ghandi in that I have to be the change I wish to see.
I am also a keen and active motorcyclist and participates in many road safety projects and charity runs. I enjoy the comradery and the passion in the brotherhood and sisterhood of the motorcycling fraternity, to bring about change and to give back to the community.
As an amateur photographer I enjoy capturing the beauty of our country, our wildlife and the unified diversity of our nation.
What is your message to South Africans?
Henry Clay’s words are apt: "government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people." As government and as representatives of the people we are created solely for your benefit.
You have the right to vote. Use it wisely! It's the key to ensuring the responsible, accountable, and progressive governance of our country. You have the right to expect accountable, corrupt-free, responsive and participative governance. Insist upon it. If we are to become a progressive nation in which we all can look forward to a better life for all, we need the active participation of civil society. On a non-political matter to every South African: You have to be the change you wish to see in this world – reach out to a neighbour, to the elderly, to children, and make a long lasting positive mark in their lives.
To learn more about this Member, visit her profile.
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